Ramaphosa pays tribute to the Free State for its role in the fight for freedom

In commemorating Freedom Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa paid homage to the women of the Free State who staged a massive campaign of defiance against the pass laws in 1913.

President Cyril Ramaphosa led Freedom Day celebrations in Botshabelo in the Free State on 27 April 2021. Picture: Twitter/@PresidencyZA

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the Free State province, saying it was there where many struggles were waged against colonial rule and later the apartheid regime.

Ramaphosa led Freedom Day celebrations in Botshabelo on Tuesday under the theme: "The year of Charlotte Maxeke - the meaning of freedom under COVID-19."

Tuesday marks 27 years since South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994.

The president said it was the people of the Free State who resisted the apartheid laws.

The province is also the birthplace of the African National Congress.

“It was also here in the Free State that the historic African claims document was adopted in 1943, setting out the demands of South African people for the realisation of their rights. It was the people of the Free State who bore the brunt of racist pass laws and who actively resisted these laws.”

He also paid homage to the women of the Free State who staged a massive campaign of defiance against the pass laws in 1913.

“This campaign of resistance was led by Mme Charlotte Maxeke, Catharina Symmons, Katie Louw, Cecilia Makiwane and many others. This campaign set in motion a movement that would soon spread.”

WATCH: 2021 National Freedom Day official celebration in the Free State

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